Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Global Warming Causing Increased Tooth Decay in Children

Scientists at the Food Science Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, have found a link between global warming and tooth decay in children.

Dr. William F. Green, Senior Project Chemist and a member of the Australian Academy of Sciences, revealed the results of an 8-year study on dental health associated with high natural fruit consumption in children at the annual meeting of the Australian Dental Association in Sydney on March 13, 2008. The problem, says Green, is that the increasing world temperatures have significantly changed the ratio between two types of sugar associated with common fruits: Fructose and Galactose. Galactose, which usually combines with Glucose to form Lactose, is normally associated with dairy products and typically not found in large amounts in common fruits, which characteristically are Fructose-dominant in sugar content. But increasing temperatures in the fruit bearing regions of Australia have apparently caused a significant shift in the ratios, with Galactose levels rising in both fruits and grains, whose predominate sugar is Maltose.

The problem lies with the decay-producing bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans, which uses sugar to produce acid leading to calcium deterioration, or tooth decay. The acid produced by Streptococcus mutans when metabolizing Galactose has a 16% lower ph ( is more acidic ) than that produced by the same bacterium metabolizing the more common Fructose. This in turn has led to an 8% rise in tooth decay among the 1800 children involved in the study, which was co-sponsored by the Australian Dental Association. "Increasing Galactose levels are increasing oral acid levels to the point where our common ph-balancing dentifrices cannot keep up," says Dr. Green. "New formulations are going to be required to counter this problem, which has a clear link to ever-increasing mean growing temperatures in our fruit-producing orchard regions."

OK. It's an April 1 spoof -- by Jim Peden. There are similar real idiocies from Greenies, however. For instance, several years ago an article was published in a scientific journal that warned that global warming would cause an invasion of smaller ants from the sub-tropics to the U. S. The authors seemed to feel that the ants currently resident in the U. S. are just the right size. If there were global cooling, I guess we'd face an invasion of larger ants from Canada. Either way our current edenic state (ant-wise anyway) would be gone forever

Inhofe's priorities are "Green" too

A comment from a rare non-angry Greenie

It is arguably common for greens to declare someone like Senator James Inhofe a complete "whacko." It is also common for greens to accuse someone like Inhofe to be a tool, not even a greenwasher, but a puppet of the worst greenwashers, those who are secretly avowed enemies of everything green. He is a "denier," an oil stooge, a war hawk, an immigration xenophobe, and if that weren't bad enough, pro-life. Wow!

Too many environmentalists assume if you want to be an environmentalist, you have to disagree with Senator Inhofe's positions on the environment, if not consider him "whacko," and you should rejoice and support his being targeted by environmental organizations to "eliminate" him in November 2008. These same environmentalist forces eliminated the unbowed California Congressman Richard Pombo in the 2006 election, and now they're taking their war to Oklahoma; to the American heartland.

The problem with environmentalists targeting Inhofe is that nothing is necessarily wrong with Senator Inhofe's positions on the environment. They might even be considered rational environmentalist positions. We need more public works projects; more canals, more deep water reservoirs, more freeways, more parking garages and urban street arteries. We need to build more nuclear power plants and more fossil fuel infrastructure of almost all types.

Naturally all of these projects need to be state-of-the-art and clean, but along with "green" innovations, we need them in order to help make us energy independent and prosperous, and so does the rest of the world.

Another of Inhofe's "crimes" is to try to open Yucca Mountain. But why is it so hard to get Yucca Mountain open for business? We've dug deep into a huge mountain in one of the most remote, inert areas on earth. Even if there is some kind of cataclysmic earthquake or water intrusion - extremely unlikely - so what? The waste is planned to be within containers so strong you could practically drop them from orbit and nothing bad would escape. Opening up Yucca Mountain and starting to empty and clean up smaller dumps around the USA and elsewhere seems fine to me. How many cubic meters of nuclear waste equate to 50 gigawatt-years, anyone?

And commissioning nukes could help save the rainforest from pre-green biofuel incarnations.Perhaps addressing all of Inhofe's infrastructure agenda isn't necessary. But too many environmentalists don't want ANY infrastructure. By the time anything significant is built, it costs 10x and takes 10x as long, and happens 1/10th as often as it should. Many things desperately needed, like more freeways, are off the table. Projects are backed up and our economy suffers because today anti-Inhofe environmentalists wield far too much influence, blocking and micromanaging all development.

As for recognizing the deadly role of CO2 in our planetary future, Inhofe is a heretic, and like all such heretics today, Inhofe is the target of an internationally coordinated professional propaganda effort to demonize him in the public eye. His motives, his sanity, and all of his associations are called into question. This is not healthy debate, nor civil; environmentalists are worthy of something better.

We should embrace debate as to what it is to be a rational environmentalist. We should accept both infrastructure proponants as well as global warming skeptics into the environmentalist fold, because the strengths of their convictions may be no less sincere, and their contributions no less valid.

And to those professionals who are targeting Inhofe from Oklahoma, an independent voice in the heartland of America, know this: California is also in play, because the truth is stronger than the trend, and it is wrong to try to silence and demonize those who disagree.



It will cost every household in the UK at least 2,000 pounds to comply with the new European Union target of producing 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, according to a report commissioned by the government. The report also says the UK will have to spend far more to meet the target than other EU countries, because the UK lags behind the rest of Europe on renewables and is a heavy energy user.

According to energy consultancy Poyry, the bill for the UK to meet the target would be at least 5 billion euros a year for more than a decade, compared with just over 3bn a year for France and Germany, and well under 500m for most other countries. Energy companies are expected to pass on to consumers - who already face soaring utility bills - the costs of building the necessary wind farms, biomass plants and solar generators.

Chris Goodall, author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, says even these estimates are conservative, and fail to take into account the huge investment needed to connect new renewable and micro-generators to the national grid.

A government spokeswoman admitted that meeting the EU target would be challenging, but added: 'We must make these hard choices if we are to tackle climate change.'


Why won't there be a "green revolution" in Africa?

Because European lefties have persuaded African governments that their people are better off dead from starvation than alive for having eaten GM foods. Even Jimmy Carter supports GM foods for Africa, which says something about how jaw-droppingly stupid these policies are.

Here's the tough question that the world very much needs to settle: To what extent ought the rich countries of the world act without regard to the sovereign rights of the world's poorest countries when the corrupt fools who run them actually obstruct attempts to save the lives of their people? If rich governments should act against sovereign rights (presumably by force if necessary) in order to rescue people, should there be a difference in how we treat governments that obstruct aid for malign reasons and those that are simply duped by political fashion?

It seems to me that if we are unable or willing to answer these questions, we should stop fretting about Darfur, Rwanda, and other such circles of hell.


Let rest of world (mainly Europe) make climate errors

Comment from Australia

KEVIN Rudd has an unfortunate proclivity for proclaiming Australia should lead the world in its response to global warming. For a country so richly endowed with carbon-based energy resources, this does not immediately commend itself as the most obvious policy course for us to follow. And the latest discussion paper on emissions trading from the Garnaut review, released last Thursday, should have set political alarm bells ringing on the potential costs of action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong is right to describe emissions trading as one of the most far-reaching and complex reforms in Australian history. Economist Ross Garnaut, who is conducting the review of climate change policies for the state and federal governments, defers to nobody in his alarm at the pace of global warming and his sense of urgency about responding to it.

However, among the "core factors" his terms of reference require him to take into account is this one: "the costs and benefits of Australia taking significant action to mitigate climate change ahead of competitor nations". While Garnaut is keen to see Australia play a full part in international efforts on climate change, his interim report suggests we should calibrate our responses so that they mirror "similar adjustment costs to other developed nations". Just what this will mean in practice is a fascinating question.

The indications are that even the relatively trivial emissions targets set under the Kyoto Protocol are likely to be missed by many signatory nations, including Canada, New Zealand and various European countries, which are looking for ways to avoid the penalties involved for so doing. Britain, which has claimed it will meet its Kyoto target comfortably (because it shut down its coal industry in the 1990s, for reasons that had nothing to do with climate change), turns out to have been using dodgy measurements. According to the method preferred by Britain's National Audit Office, there has been no reduction in its emissions from their 1990 level.

But even more interesting is the way things are unfolding when it comes to future action. The European Union has been a leading proponent of the apocalyptic view of the consequences of climate change and an advocate of strong global action. Yet in recent months there has been a far from unified response to proposals from Brussels on emissions targets and related matters from the EU's members. Germany and France, the EU's two most powerful members, have been unhappy and vocal about the effect on their energy-intensive industries, including the steel and car industries, of targets such as a 20 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.

Ironically, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who chaired last year's EU spring summit (where she was all for the adoption of such targets), did an about-face this month. Germany led a push to get energy-intensive industries special treatment, alarming the Greens in the European parliament, who described it as small-minded and "a frenzy of bargaining for exemptions and further compromises".

There is growing concern in Europe that energy-intensive industries could move offshore if the EU is too ambitious in setting its emission reduction targets. The summit communique provides for special treatment for energy-intensive industries if international negotiations fail to get other countries to match Europe's emission targets.

The European Commission's president Jose Manuel Barroso is concerned this compromise will undermine Europe's credibility in international negotiations. He is talking of the possibility of protectionist measures against imports from countries such as China, with lower environmental standards, if international agreement on climate change action isn't reached by 2009. This would be a disastrous move, for Europe and the world.

Japan is also running into difficulties with its Kyoto target and appears to be looking for ways to shift the goalposts in the next round of climate change negotiations.

In the US all the presidential candidates are talking about commitment to an emissions trading system and targets, but there is no reason to think Congress, which is in a protectionist mood, will sign on to any international agreement that doesn't impose obligations on China and other developing countries to accept binding targets for emissions cuts. There is no sign China or India will agree to that, and if China and the US don't play ball, then it's game over for any meaningful international agreement post-Kyoto in 2012.

Garnaut has acknowledged that at the present rate of progress in global negotiations, agreement on a comprehensive plan to substantially slash greenhouse gas emissions could be decades away. This is not an environment in which Australia should be rushing to set up an ambitious national emissions trading scheme. The Rudd Government should think again about its aim of finalising its plans by the end of the year.

It is not only a matter of not getting ahead of our international competitors in imposing substantial costs on key national industries. What Garnaut proposes also involves vast transfers of wealth, jobs and resources domestically, as government reallocates the billions of dollars in revenue its emissions trading scheme would raise. Garnaut has suggested ways to use these enormous revenues to compensate households and other victims of the higher prices and job losses involved. But the whole of economic history suggests the scope for misallocation and misuse of these funds by government is great.

Neither climate change alarmism, based on still uncertain science, nor misplaced ambition to be a world leader in emission reductions should rush us into premature decisions on such a fundamental issue. The rest of the world isn't in any hurry.


Australian politicians shun "enviro-friendly" cars

POLITICIANS are spending taxpayers' money on gas-guzzling cars and four-wheel drives while telling average Aussies to cut their carbon emissions. More than 100 federal MPs drive taxpayer-funded 4WDs and V8s, and 113 MPs have family-size sedans and wagons. But there are only 10 Toyota Prius hybrids in the privately plated vehicle fleet. And only five MPs have bothered to request LPG vehicles, which are better for the environment than petrol models.

The Herald Sun obtained details of MPs' taxpayer-funded vehicles after months of bureaucratic buck-passing. But the Department of Finance refused to reveal the vehicle choices of individual MPs, claiming the information was private. The Government, which signed the Kyoto Protocol as its first official act, does not impose any environmental restrictions or guidelines on the selection of privately plated vehicles. MPs must select their car from a list of Australian-made vehicles. If they want a non-standard or imported vehicle, such as a 4WD, V8 or hybrid, they must pay the difference from their electoral allowance. "At present, the onus of choice is on the parliamentarian," said a spokesman for Special Minister of State John Faulkner.

Most of the four-wheel drives selected are Australian-made Ford Territorys, which burn about 13 litres of fuel in 100km on the open road. Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores use about 10-11 litres/100km, while the Toyota Prius uses 4.4 litres/100km.

The Australian Conservation Foundation said politicians should drive the most efficient cars available. "I think it's clear the Australian people would like to see the Government leading the way on this," acting executive director Chris Berger said. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, who drives a Mitsubishi 380 but has a Prius on order, said the Commonwealth was looking at ways to improve its environmental performance. "The Government has committed to leading by example in reducing emissions from its own operations," her spokesman said.



For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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